Freedom #1 Review

This was one of those items I saw in the Previews catalogue 2 months ago and ordered on a whim. Hopefully it benefitted from a few nice words at Bleeding Cool and Diamond, and others did the same.

Freedom is published by Potato Comics and created by Seamus Heffernan. It’s also the recipient of a grant from the lovely people at the Xeric Foundation who generously support unique voices in independent comics.

Printed in a larger format, this 76 pager is presented as a black and white relic from the era in which it’s set – the American Revolution. Visually, it’s a standout, with detailed etchings like something from a wood-cut printing, and the loose lettering and fonts used in the acknowledgements and gallery intro, also giving it an old-timey feel.

It opens in the “colony of Massachusetts” in 1779. Young Adam has just woken from a bad dream, and before he can enjoy breakfast his two brothers charge in fighting about the redcoats, with the younger Connor shouting, “Death to the king!” for all to hear. Connor takes Adam to Boston so he can learn a trade, but on the way Adam’s feisty nature gets the better of him, leading to his almost demise at the hands of soldiers before a captain notes his honour and saves him and his older brother.

The dialogue beams with authenticity, and Connor’s moral strength in contrast with Adam’s hotheadedness brings forth great scenes of familial bonding and stern guidance. Needless to say, the art does wonders too. Heffernan paces the tale well, allowing us to care easily for the two protagonists, and creates hectic motion when needed, such as during a chaotic and passionate bar fight, and he makes just two colours come alive, such as in the last few pages, with great shadow play and explosive light.

This is the first of a planned trilogy and the cliffhanger and fate of the brothers indicates that it’ll be an even wilder ride in future issues.

Thankfully there’s a lengthy preview PDF so you can see some of this wonderfully crafted and intriguing debut for yourself.

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